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  • What do you do when you want to indicate that an action occurred before or after or even at the same time as another ?
    I think we normally do this:
    - I was taking a shower while my wife was watching TV in the sitting-room. (simultaniety)
    - I was taking a shower when my wife opened the bathroom's door. (sudden action)
    - After I had taken a bath, I sat down on a sofa to watch TV. (1st action ... 2nd action)
    NB: elsewhere I read: After I took a bath, I sat down ...
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  • 1. Time Clauses
  • 2. Time ClausesYou use time clauses to say when somethinghappens. The verb in the time clause can bein the present or the past tense.I look after the children while she goes toLondon.I haven’t given him a thing to eat since hearrived.
  • 3. Time ClausesWARNING: You never use the future tense ina time clause. You use one of the presenttenses instead.Let me stay here till Jane comes to bed.I’ll do it when I’ve finished writing this letter.
  • 4. Time ClausesWhen you want to say that two eventshappen at the same time, you use a timeclause with ‘as’, ‘when’, or ‘while’.We arrived as they were leaving.
  • 5. Time ClausesWhen you want to say that two eventshappen at the same time, you use a timeclause with ‘as’, ‘when’, or ‘while’.We arrived as they were leaving.
  • 6. Time ClausesSometimes the two events happen togetherfor a period of time.She wept bitterly as she told her story.
  • 7. Time ClausesSometimes one event interrupts anotherevent.He was having his dinner when the telephonerang.John will arrive while we are watching thefilm.Note: You often use a continuous tense forthe interrupted event.
  • 8. Time ClausesWhen you want to say that one eventhappens before another event, you use a timeclause with ‘after’, ‘as soon as’, ‘before’, or‘when’.As soon as we get tickets, we’ll send them toyou.Can I see you before you go, Helen?
  • 9. Time ClausesNote: You use the past perfect to indicate anevent that happened before another event inthe past.When she had finished reading, she lookedup.
  • 10. Time ClausesWhen you want to mention a situation whichstarted in the past and continued until a latertime, you use a time clause with ‘since’ or‘ever since’.You use a past simple or a past perfect in thetime clause.He hadn’t cried since he was a boy of ten.I’d wanted to come ever since I was a child.
  • 11. Time ClausesIf the situation started in the past and stillcontinues now, you use a past simple in thetime clause, and a present perfect in the mainclause.I’ve been in politics since I was at university.Ever since you arrived you’ve been causingtrouble.
  • 12. Time ClausesNote: After impersonal ‘it’ and a timeexpression, if the main clause is in thepresent tense, you use ‘since’ with a pastsimple.It is two weeks now since I wrote you.
  • 13. Time ClausesIf the main clause is in the past tense, youuse ‘since’ with a past perfect.I was nearly seven years old since I had seenToby.
  • 14. Time ClausesWhen you want to talk about when a situationends, you use a time clause with ‘till’ or ‘until’and a present or past tense.We’ll support them till they find work.I stayed there talking to them until I saw Sam.She waited until he had gone.
  • 15. Time ClausesWhen you want to say that somethinghappens before or at a particular time, youuse a time clause with ‘by the time’ or ‘bywhich time’.By the time I went to bed, I was exhausted.He came back later, by which time they hadgone.
  • 16. Time ClausesIn written or formal English, if the subject ofthe main clause and the time clause are thesame, you sometimes omit the subject in thetime clause and use a participle as the verb.I read the book before going to see the film.The car was stolen while parked in a Londonstreet.
  • 17. Questions?For more slide presentations visit: